Bush fires are a common thing in Africa, during the dry season bush fires flare up naturally but it’s also quite common for people to start them, the grass is extremely dry and it’s amazing how quickly new grass grows from under the ashes. Even national parks across the continent do controlled burning, I’ve personally witnessed it in South African, Botswanan and Tanzanian national parks.
I’ve never been able to get that close to bush fires to take a decent photograph, they’ve either been to hot or in a location that didn’t allow me to get close enough to photograph them. Recently in Kosi Bay, they had a bush fire flare up, it was an ideal opportunity to get close, no risk of wildlife attacking and the fire itself wasn’t huge. I got real close with a fisheye lens, even a little fire that’s only about a foot high was producing a huge amount of heat. Fisheyes are tricky lenses to use, you have to get so close to your subject to make anything of it. This worked quite well with the fires but I had to move in an out quite quickly as to not burn the camera or myself.